The Rolla girls tennis had a busy week this week with back to back matches against Parkview and Richland on Tuesday and Wednesday, Sept. 4-5. The Lady Bulldogs put on a great show, beating both of their opponents 9-0 and winning their first Ozark Conference match of the season on Tuesday against Parkview.
Rolla made quick work of Parkview on Tuesday with a string of dominant singles matches. Olivia Burken and Rylee Kriete opened things up at number one doubles with an 8-0 victory to set the tone. Diya Allada and Mya Burken then had the closest match of the night at number two, holding on for an 8-7 win. Kathleen Beetner and Shay Pelfrey then took care of business at number three, winning 8-3.
Singles was just as dominant for Rolla. Olivia Burken kicked off singles plat with an 8-1 win, while Kriete won by the same score at number two. Allada won 8-2 at number three, before Mya Burken took home an 8-1 win at number four. Pelfrey and Molly Hardwick then both won 8-3 at five and six, respectively.
The JV won both of their matches, as well.
"Great match with our girls taking steps forward. Top girls played solid and we saw their serves warming up," said head coach Joe Schisler on the match. "We were able to allow Kathleen Beetner to take care of other important obligations after doubles, and Molly Hardwick stepped right in and won her match. Allada and Burken were really pushed, but came back and won 9-7. It is great that girls who have worked hard and stuck with it are getting results and seeing the fruits of their labor."
Rolla then kept getting results on Wednesday, as they had a hard-fought sweep over Richland. Coach Schisler switched up the doubles pairs, and the girls responded with wins. Kriete and Allada paired up at number one and earned an 8-4 win as the closest doubles match. The Burkens then made for a dynamic duo at two, as the sisters won 8-3. Beetner and Pelfrey rounded out doubles play with a strong 8-1 victory.
Rolla then built on that momentum in singles. Olivia Burken had a shutout 8-0 win at number one, before Kriete won 8-3 at number two. Allada also earned an 8-3 win, before the closest match of the evening at number four, where Beetner had a hard-fought 8-5 win. Mya Burken then won 8-2 at number five, before Pelfrey capped off the night with an 8-0 win.
The JV held on for a great 5-4 win with victories by Molly Hardwick, Sheri Chan, Eliana Stanislawski, Anne Marie Bevis and Faith Taylor.
"This was much more competitive than it looks on paper. Richland hung close during the first part of the match and had some leads. I think our girls just had a little more in the tank and a little more perseverance," said coach Schisler. "It was a great leadership night where we moved Allada up to number one doubles and had the Burken girls solid at number 2. I always appreciate our girls’ willingness to play with a variety of doubles partners since it gives us more options later in the season. It also helps them to play different styles and powers of players.
"I can’t say enough about the leadership on this team. I announced the doubles changes and I think they responded with a lot of positivity and enthusiasm," continued the Rolla head coach. "Kriete and Olivia Burken had dominating serves in doubles. Allada and Mya Burken stayed aggressive in their groundstrokes and return games. It is exciting to be 2-1 and to look ahead and feel like we can compete in every match the remainder of the season. JV continues to impress me too. Despite somewhat limited playing time, they are improving daily. Even our girls who lost brought great intensity and competitiveness. I know each match is giving them the experience, confidence, and desire to continue improving."
Rolla will have a well earned break before playing another Ozark Conference match at Camdenton on Tuesday, Sept. 11.